Uncountable / countable

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Fabiola79, Jun 21, 2013.

  1. Fabiola79

    Fabiola79 Banned


    Are nouns made from verbs like reading, watching, living, interbreeding
    uncountable ( as I think ) or countable ?

    Thank you for your answer
  2. boozer Senior Member

    I don't suppose there is a single universal answer to that, Fabiola. Gerunds are generally uncountable. However, among the words you've listed, reading can be countable. Of course, when it is, it is no longer a gerund... Livings is also a word.
  3. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    Yes, they all begin life as uncountable names for the activity, but many of them have developed specialized meanings. ('Meaning', for example.) You can earn a living doing something; a poet can give a reading of their works; there can be a sighting of a UFO; a judge can issue a finding; and so on. Each of these needs to be listed specially in the dictionary, whereas the name of the activity is automatically available for every verb.

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